Man jailed for 12 years for rape of 11-year-old girl

PUBLISHED: 13:46 20 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:13 20 May 2019

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

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A man, who raped a girl when she was 11, then tried to cover up what he had done by sending her a WhatsApp message to tell her to lie about what had happened, a court heard.

Peter Cullen, 42, tried to deny he had abused the victim after she confided to her mother about what had gone on, and he then sent the victim a message asking her not to say what actually happened, Norwich Crown Court heard,

Lindsay Cox, prosecuting, said Cullen was arrested at his work place despite his efforts to get the victim to keep quiet.

He said the victim had said she made her complaint as she said she wanted to "speak up" about the abuse which had gone on.

Mr Cox said although initially denying in police interview that he had sexually abused the victim, he later changed his plea to guilty, when he appeared at court.

Mr Cox said the victim was now having to undergo counselling over what she had gone through.

Cullen, of Pinewood Avenue, Oulton Broad, admitted rape and sexual activity with a child and was jailed for 12 years and placed on the sex offenders' register for life.

He was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order and ordered to serve an extended period of licence on his release.

Jailing him, Judge Maureen Bacon said: "I have to sentence you for extremely grave offences."

She said that after sexually abusing the girl, he had then tried to cover up what happened.

"You were trying to dissuade her from saying anything and tried to get her to maintain a lie."

However, she said at least Cullen did finally plead guilty and by doing that had spared the victim having to give evidence.

David Stewart, for Cullen, said he was a man of previous good character and deserved full credit for his guilty plea.

He said that Cullen had co-operated fully.

He added: "He expresses his remorse."

Mr Stewart said that although he had sent a message to the victim he had not used any force or threats against her.

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